During a visit to a summer camp for children affected by the conflict in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, I met a boy close to the frontline who had made a drawing of a tree, on top of which he drew a house with a family. When asked why the house was in the tree top and wouldn't it fall down in the wind, the boy confidently assured me 'no', the house is strong and secure. I later found out that this boy's dog had been killed by a landmine.
The world has been shaken by Britain's decision to exit the European Union. What are the psychological factors behind this seismic event? The vote was carried by three separate factors - age, wealth and geography - with the old, the poor and the non-London English ensuring that the Leave campaign won.
In my parent's generation there was a sea change in health behaviour. Not so long ago smoking was considered normal, diets were conducive to heart disease and exercise was a marginal pursuit. In just fifty years most people acknowledge the importance of exercise and diet. Smoking has become a marginal pursuit. There has been a huge tipping point.
One winter's day in 1961, Professor Edward Lorenz - one of the first meteorologists to use computer-based prediction - decided to run a weather simulation in his MIT lab. He'd run this one before, so he was pretty sure he knew what to expect. But on this occasion, to save time, he inputted the data using three decimals places, rather than six as he had used originally. So, for example, 23.348 rather than 23.347813: a difference of just 0.000187.
Our mental health reflects a complex and turbulent dance between nature and nurture. But we are not merely passive slaves to these forces, we actively learn about, make sense of and respond to the world. The essential added element in the 'nature-nurture' debate, too often overlooked, is human psychology itself.
It will take some time before I am fully in control of this illness. Before I can manage to inject insulin four times a day. I am not, by any means, cured of the paralysis caused by Diabulimia. It is a bit of a shame that I cannot finish this with a happy, sugar-free ending. But every day, I am trying my best. And right now, that's good enough for me.
Taken together then, it seems that if we want to save money on our insurance premiums then we need to take action before we end up paying more than we need to. So why not seize this opportunity, look up your renewal date, and make a plan to compare providers and select a policy in good time, before the fuse burns out?
The best thing I learnt while I was studying Psychology was about all of our cognitive biases. There are loads of them. These 'mental shortcuts' operate mainly unconsciously, and, although the word 'bias' pings with negative connotations, they actually have a very important function; they allow us not to have to process every single thing in our daily lives.